Friday, 16 January 2015

Star Wars: Legacy, A Fitting End To The Expanded Universe

I've finally finished an extended marathon reading of all the Star Wars: Legacy comics. Set over a hundred years after Return of the Jedi, this is the story of a Second Imperial Civil War. The heirs to the Rebels are now on the run once again as a new Sith Lord reigns over a revived Empire. The only power that can challenge it? Another version of the Empire!

In Volume 1 we meet a descendant of Luke Skywalker, Cade, who is a smuggler and a rogue. More a Force sensitive Han Solo than a Jedi Knight,  Cade and his two smuggler associates are dragged unwilling deeper and deeper into galactic politics and battles against the Sith Empire.

The first volume of Legacy is full of characters, "a cast of thousands" is only just slightly exaggerating. Whilst this can make the narrative seem disjointed in a marathon read, it also captures the epic scale of Lucas' "Galaxy". One issue you'll find yourself on the Mon Calamari homeworld Dac watching an Imperial Knight desperately fight to save a doomed race, the next you are on Bastion, or in the Hidden Temple, or... well just take my word for it... this is the sequel you are looking for.

Epic battles, romance, betrayal, R2 D2.... this comic had everything you could want from a Star Wars product and still managed to feel like something completely different. The Sith make Emperor Palpatine look civilised. Among them are some of the best villains to ever grace the pages of a Star Wars comic.

Volume 1 ends on a deeply unsatisfying note in issue 50 (hint: nothing gets resolved) but thankfully a 6 part mini-series "Star Wars Legacy: War" brings the story of the Second Imperial Civil War to an end though very much leaves the story open (with Sith still spread across the Galaxy) for a return.

In 2013 Star Wars: Legacy was revived with Volume 2. However this time we are following Ania Solo (yes a descendant of Han and Leia) and this is quite a different beast to the first series. Here we go small-scale, focussed on a small group of characters in a tightly written story. Ania soon gets a very interesting set of friends (a Mon Calamari engineer, an assassin droid, an Imperial Knight and a devoted little Imperial Comm Droid) and an even more interesting set of opponents (the forces of the Empress and a new Darth lord seeking to put an end to the One Sith order).

For all of Volume 1's epicness, Volume 2 actually feels like a better book. You will come to like Ania and her crew. Though the ending feels rushed (possibly through necessity given the ending of Dark Horse's two decade long Star Wars license) the series wraps up all the Legacy story arcs and brings the Galaxy to a more hopeful place than its been in since before the events of A Phantom Menace. Which is rather a nice place for it to end considering that the last issue was one of the last entries into the Expanded Universe before the new Canon came into being. The Expanded Universe now lives on as "Legends" freeing up some story space for Disney's renewed Star Wars franchise. Whilst this is great for the future, it does feel somewhat sad to say goodbye to the characters and Galaxy who've entertained over the last couple of decades...

On to watching a new story now unfold...


Thursday, 1 January 2015

So January 2015, What Goodies Have You Got For Me?

Project Almanac

This looks like it might be interesting. I HATE "found footage" movies generally (the last movie I saw in 2014 was unfortunately Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, you can never get that time back) but this one is about time travel (and the butterfly effect) which is something that generally gets me excited. The first review doesn't seem all that bad (for a found footage movie!). I'll definitely check this out as soon as possible.

12 Monkeys

Mmm... more time travel. Based on fact it is a Syfy series I'm unsure about whether it'll be any good or not but its at least a welcome addition to genre TV. I'm looking forward to trying this out.

Star Wars 

A new comics era begins as the now Disney owned Star Wars returns to the now Disney owned Marvel. Yes I was sad to see Dark Horse stop publishing Star Wars but I'm pleased to see a new, canon approved, comic with all-new adventures for our favourite rebels. Who knows where it might take us and what parts of the Galaxy we might get to see. Excited!! Out January 14th. 

Uncanny Avengers

Rick Remender is up there with Scott Snyder as one of my current favourite comic writers. Uncanny Avengers is getting relaunched in January and I can't wait to see what fun (for which see terribly traumatic moments) he has in store for us with this new team. Plus.. .Rogue. :)